Top Orange County Things to Do for June 2019

June Events | SC Home Blog

This month, Orange County brings you outdoor concerts, wine dinners and renowned art festivals…. See our list of 30+ top Orange County things to do in June.

Anaheim Packing House Citrus Centennial 
June 1. The Anaheim Packing House—originally the Sunkist orange packing house, now Orange County’s largest food hall—presents historical tours and live entertainment throughout the day in celebration of its 100th anniversary. From 5 to 10 p.m., adjacent Farmers Park presents a citrus fair featuring a pop-up Sunkist orange grove OC Fair Centennial Farms, a citrus cocktail garden, citrus-themed vendors, music and the premier of an Anaheim Packing House documentary. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, 714.533.7225.


Newport Beach Jazz Festival
Through June 2. Annual weekend event features a lineup of jazz artists including 10-time Grammy Award winner George Benson, Sax to the Max, Morris Day & the Time, West Coast Jam, Najee and Poncho Sanchez. The festival also features an international food court and shopping in the surrounding vendor village. F 6 p.m.; Sa-Su 10:30 a.m. $85-$325. Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, 1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, 949.360.7800.


Duckhorn Vineyards Wine Dinner
June 4. Indulge in a five-course wine-pairing dinner and sweeping ocean views at 21 Oceanfront. Menu highlights include beer-battered-halibut fish and chips with 2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay; sautéed black cod with 2016 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir; and plum-glazed roasted quail with 2016 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot. See full menu online. 6:30 p.m. $129. 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100.


Newport Beach Wooden Boat Festival
June 7-9. Come see 50 of the best wooden-hull boats on the West Coast at the Balboa Yacht Club. Enjoy a day of fun on the waterfront in appreciation of the timeless beauty and craftsmanship of privately owned boats of all sizes, both power and sail. F 5-6:30 p.m. VIP reception; Sa 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free. Parade and sail-by viewable around the harbor, 1801 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar, 949.673.3515.



Grab your cowboy boots and jam out with Brad Paisley at FivePoint Amphitheatre.

Brad Paisley at FivePoint Amphitheatre
June 8. The three-time Grammy Award-winning American country singer takes center stage at the new amphitheatre in Irvine. Special guests include country singers Chris Lane and Riley Green. Doors open 7 p.m. See website for prices. 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800.


M. Butterfly
Through June 8. Inspired by true events, this Tony award-winning break-out hit by the author of Chinglishand Golden Child proves much more than a steamy tale of seduction between a married French diplomat and a mysterious Chinese opera diva. Obsession, perception and the allure of fantasy make for a remarkable tale of espionage and betrayal described as “visionary” by The New York Times. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555.


Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Through June 9. Enter a world of pure imagination at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts presentation of the classic children’s tale. Willy Wonka and four golden-ticket winners embark on a life-changing journey through Wonka’s chocolate factory. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


The Velveteen Rabbit
Through June 9. Bring the whole family to watch Margery Williams’ beloved children’s book about the power of love—and magic—come to life on stage. Adapted by Janet Allard, the classic story follows a lonely and forgotten stuffed rabbit that longs to be real. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555.


VieVité Rosé Brunch on Ocean Lawn
June 9. Cheers to a rosé brunch on Montage Laguna Beach’s Ocean Lawn featuring Côtes de Provence rosés. The limited-edition VieVité Rosé—whose bottle was created by American fashion designer Zac Posen and Côtes de Provence producer Domaine Sainte-Marie—will be served with an elegant brunch prepared by the resort’s culinary team. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $140. 30801 Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6000.


OC Parks Sunset Cinema
June 14-Sept. 13. Pack a picnic, blankets and beach chairs for a family-friendly film series presenting 14 screenings in regional parks. The series kicks off with Disney’s Zootopia. Food trucks will be on-site. See website for list of films and venues. Films begin at approximately 8 p.m. Free entrance and parking. Carbon Canyon Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, 714.973.6865.



Come hungry to OC Night Market at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

OC Night Market
June 14-16. Come one, come all to the original and largest Asian-themed night market in the country. The OC Night Market features hundreds of distinctive food items as well as merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment attractions in one jam-packed weekend of festivities. New and returning chefs present all manner of delectable dishes. F-Sa 4 p.m.-midnight; Su 4 p.m.-11 p.m. $5 GA, free for kids under 6; $8 parking. OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.


Newport Beach Art Exhibition
June 15. Mingle with the local and regional artists at the 55th annual juried event, which features more than 250 works in mediums including painting, mixed media, sculpture and photography. Art lovers have the opportunity to view and purchase quality original artwork and enjoy an afternoon with food and live entertainment. 1-6 pm. Free. Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.717.3800.


Summer of Mud: Lake Mud Run
June 15. Celebrate summer with a 5K mud run beginning and ending at Irvine Lake. The course takes participants through hills, water and built obstacles and over a dozen mud pits—more mud than ever before. Expect to become drenched and muddy; bring towels and a change of clothing. 9 a.m. $60. Oak Canyon Park, 5305 Santiago Canyon Road, Silverado.


Father’s Day Dalmore Scotch Dinner
June 16. Suprise dad at the Loft with a four-course dinner featuring the Dalmore distilleries’ whiskies. Created by chef Joosung Lee, main courses include roasted squab accompanied by Dalmore Cigar Blend, roasted venison tenderloin with Dalmore 18 Year and chilled green apple risotto with caramel ice cream served accompanied by Dalmore 25 Year. Guiding guests through the whiskey tasting is Dalmore’s head of education, Craig Bridger. Reception 5:30 p.m., dinner 6 p.m. $135. The Loft, Monage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6000.


Father’s Day Dinner at Eats Kitchen & Bar
June 16. Treat your dad to a family-style dinner of his favorite foods. Highlights include a whole rotisserie chicken, a prime flatiron steak with chimichurri sauce, shrimp cocktail, farmer’s market salad, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and three delectable desserts. Reservations required. Starts 5 p.m. $69. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.


Through June 16. The Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary friend Harvey, a six-and-a-half-foot tall rabbit. When Harvey is exposed at Dowd’s sister’s society luncheon, it has everyone questioning what exactly is real and who exactly is crazy. See website for show times and prices. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787.


Newport Beach Concerts on the Green
June 16. A four-part summer concert series kicks off on the Civic Center Green. First up is American band The Side Deal—featuring members Charlie Colin (Train), Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray), and brothers Joel and Scott Owen (PawnShop kings)—with a rock performance that includes familiar and revamped renditions of their respective global hits. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring picnic dinners, blankets and low-slung beach chairs. Food trucks will be on-hand for dinner and desserts. 6-7:30 p.m. Free. Civic Center Green, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.644.3309.


Sculptures by Gwynn Murrill
Opens June 16. Sculptures by Gwynn Murrill is the first exhibition to present work from the artist’s entire career, spanning the early 1970s to today. Curated by Elizabeth Rooklidge, it features 20 works by the Los Angeles-based Murrill. F-Tu 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Th 11 a.m.-9 p.m. $7 GA, $5 students and seniors. 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.494.8971.



Come see Train (above) and Goo Good Dolls on tour at FivePoint Amphitheatre.

Train and Goo Goo Dolls
June 16. Grammy Award-winning Train and Billboard Music Award-winning Goo Goo Dolls go-headlining a show  at the FivePoint Amphitheatre. Special guest is soul singer Allen Stone. Doors open 7 p.m. See website for prices. 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800.


Wags N Wine
June 16. Get ready for an exciting day of food, wine tasting, beer, prizes, live music, live and silent auctions and, of course, dogs—lots and lots of dogs. Watch the Pooch Pageant and introduce your furry pal to new friends. Every dog attending gets a doggie goodie bag. Food, drink and entertainment are included with admission. VIP entry noon, GA 1-5 p.m. $75-$105 adults, $20 children ages 6-12, free for kids 5 and under. Paséa Hotel & Spa, 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.328.8661.


OC Parks Summer Concert Series
June 20-Aug. 29. Rock out to local and national artists at outdoor concerts every Thursday night all summer long. Venues includes Craig Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park and Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach. The series kicks off with Hard Day’s Night on June 20, followed by events featuring  artists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Sega Genecide and the Fenians. All concerts 6-8 p.m. Concertgoers 21+ can purchase beer and wine at the beer tent. 5-8 p.m. Free. See website for schedule and locations. 714.973.6865.


Day of Music Fullerton
June 21. Celebrate the summer solstice with 150+ free musical events in more than 40 venues throughout the city of Fullerton. Musicians participating are of all all ages, creeds and musical persuasions. See website for schedule of events and various locations. Noon-10 p.m. Free. See website for


Pirate Coast Paddle Company Glow Tours
Beginning June 21. Spend your summer evenings on an LED light-adorned paddleboard or kayak on the bay;  see marine life only visible at night on this unique excursion on Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day. Cocktails and dinner at Back Bay Bistro follow. See website for availability. $45 per session. 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.278.0011.


Star Wars Day at the OC Zoo
June 22. May the Force be with you on this day of family-fun including Star Wars characters, themed activities, crafts, games and photo opportunities. Attend animal meet-and-greets throughout the day. The first 100 children ages 12 and under in costume receive a gift and a free ride on the Irvine Park Railroad. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $2 GA, free for children 2 and under, $5 parking. 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, 714.973.6847.



Cheers to the annual Summer Suds Brew Fest in Fountain Valley.

Summer Suds Brew Fest
June 22. The annual brew fest features more than 40 craft breweries and more than 80 beers for tasting. Enjoy live performances by the Microphone Doctors, Outerwave, and Casey Sullivan and Friends. Visit the giant party game arena for friendly competition, engage with beer-makers and enjoy cuisine from Southern California food vendors. VIP entry 2 p.m., GA 3-6 p.m. GA: $35 pre-sale, $45 at the door; VIP: $45 pre-sale, $55 at the door. Fountain Valley Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley.


Baroque Music Festival
June 23-30. The annual festival features five concerts in eight days. Watch stylistically authentic performances of works from the Baroque period at various locations in Corona del Mar. The themed programs include Back to Bach Concertos; Glories of the Guitar; Passionate Voices: Music of Longing, Devotion and Joy; Bach’s Sons, Friends and Rivals; and Bach the Magnificent. A Wine and Waters reception follows each performance. $30-$50. 949.760.7887.


A Taste of Greece
June 28-30. Get a taste of the Greek Islands without having to leave Orange County. Enjoy traditional cuisine and pastries, Greek folk dancing lessons, children’s play zone, church tours and cooking demonstrations at the annual festival. F 5-10 p.m.; Sa noon-10 p.m.; Su noon-9 p.m. $3 GA, free for children under 10, free for seniors age 65+ on Saturday from noon-5 p.m. . St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, 4949 Alton Parkway, Irvine, 949.733.2366.  


Laguna Art-A-Fair
Begins June 28. Annual juried art festival includes works by 125 artists in painting, drawing, photography, digital art, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, glass and wood. Weekends feature live entertainment. Su-Th 10 a.m.-9 p.m., F-Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes 6 p.m. on July 4 and Sept. 2). $7-$9. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.4514.


Sawdust Art Festival
Begins June 28. View works by 200 Laguna Beach artists in mediums including glass, painting, jewelry, ceramics, clothing and textiles, sculpture, scrimshaw and photography. Additional highlights include demos, kids activities, outdoor cafes and live music in the eucalyptus grove. Daily 10 am-10 pm (closes 6 p.m. on July 4). $4-$9. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030.


Aperture Cellars Wine Dinner
June 29. Chef Joosung Lee of the Loft welcomes highly recognized winemaker Jesse Katz for a five-course dinner paired with Aperture Cellars wines. The second course of roasted duck breast with corn pudding and blackberry jus is complemented by Aperture Pinot Noir (Dry Stack Vineyard, Bennett Valle), the fourth course of roasted lamb loin, smoked polenta cake and cherry-balsamic jus with Aperture Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California. Reception 5:30 p.m., dinner 6:15 p.m. $145. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6000.


Moments of Reflection
Through June 30. Exhibit features more than 100 works of art by members of the Mukrim Brush Painting Club. The 35 artists present genres as diverse as landscapes, folk art, fans and folding screens. The centerpiece of the exhibit depicts the beautiful Mt. Geum Gang in North Korea. W-Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, 714.956.8936.


Secrets and Illusions
June 30. Illusionist Ivan Amodei’s new stage show features his signature storytelling, thought-provoking vignettes and audience participation. The Boston Globe says it’s “magic with a message.” 4 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646.

Originally published here. Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

Pirate Coast Paddle Company Glow Tours photo by Ray Kang. Train and Goo Goo Dolls photo courtesy Live Nation. Summer Suds Brew Fest photo courtesy Summer Suds Brew Fest.OC Night Market photo courtesy 626 Night Market. 

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6 Ways to Try Out a Neighborhood Before Moving There

Know the Neighborhood | SC Homes Blog

If you’re looking for a better way to get a feel for a new neighborhood, consider a tactic some recent homebuyers in New York have put to use: Because they are seriously considering moving to a neighborhood they don’t know well, they rented an Airbnb and had a staycation in the area they’re exploring. They stayed in their rental from Thursday through Monday, not only enjoying the area’s restaurants and shops, but they even practiced what might be their new commutes to work.

This young couple plans to sell their first home, a one-bedroom condo in an expensive neighborhood, in order to buy a larger home in a neighborhood that would be more affordable and family-friendly. Currently they live in a chic area of Manhattan that has become increasingly expensive and gentrified over the last few decades, with an explosion of luxury condominiums, and the boutiques and markets which support the demands of these new residents.

The couple has loved living there, but they’re ready for the next chapter of their lives, and like so many young people in big cities across the country, they’re being priced out of a neighborhood that was once significantly more affordable. Furthermore, as they begin to explore the possibility of starting a family, they want more space while simultaneously lowering their cost of living.

Certain Brooklyn neighborhoods – while certainly not inexpensive for the average American (or New Yorker) – have become increasingly attractive for young families who feel stretched by the stressful demands of Manhattan living, but who aren’t ready to embrace suburban life. For people like these clients, moving to a new neighborhood can be a scary prospect – the consequences of a life decision this big can be daunting. That staycation in their potential new neighborhood was eye-opening, and one of many ways to scope out a new neighborhood without going in totally blind.

Here are six ways to see if a new neighborhood is right for you:

1. Take a Staycation

There is no way to get to know a neighborhood better than living in it. If you can, rent an apartment for a week or a long weekend in a neighborhood you’re curious about. Practice living in the new neighborhood, including commuting, eating, shopping and exercising. Is it fun? Easy? Exciting? Or the total opposite? If nightlife is important to you, grab a nightcap at a local bar. If cooking is important to you, scope out the nearest markets. If outdoor spaces are important to you, take a walk or a jog in the nearest park and see how it feels.

2. Talk to Your Friends

Do you know people in the new potential neighborhood? What do your friends and acquaintances say about the quality of life? The restaurants? The traffic? The noise? The school system? The parks and playgrounds? The cultural outlets? The commute? If you don’t know people who already live in the neighborhood, how do you feel about making new friends?

3. Walk the Streets

All around the world, in just about every city, there are so many neighborhoods with well-established histories. Taking a walking tour can be fun and educational, as well as informative. Is there local lore that makes your potential new neighborhood even more interesting? What is the architecture like? Do the locals in the neighborhood look like how you envision yourself in the next chapter or your life?

4. Taste Test

What is the local culinary scene like? Even if you’re not a foodie, going out to the local restaurants will tell you a lot about the neighbors. Are the restaurants elegant and formal, or hip and casual? Is the food basic or inventive? Are the restaurants expensive or more affordable? Whether the restaurants are empty or bustling on a Friday night – or even on a Monday night – might speak volumes about the habits of your potential new neighbors.

5. Envision Your New Life

How do you feel about living in the new neighborhood? Does it feel natural? Does it seem like a good fit? What will it be like to come home to this neighborhood every day after work? Is it something you’re looking forward to, or does it seem like a dreaded compromise with which you’ll never really be happy?

6. Rent

Though homeownership has many benefits, it’s a big commitment. If you’re thinking of moving to a new neighborhood but you’re not ready to really invest in the area, rent there for a year to see how it goes. Renting may allow you to actually save more money for a bigger down payment on your next home and give you the luxury of putting off the big decision a bit longer.


The couple who tried out the neighborhood with a staycation are still looking for a new home, but their weekend in Brooklyn got them excited. The wife now has a list of her favorite neighborhood restaurants and the husband has already found a route for his morning jog. They have begun to envision the next chapter of their lives with excited anticipation.

Originally published here.

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Can You Use Home Equity to Buy a Vacation Home?

Vacation Home \ SC Homes Blog

BUYING A VACATION HOME could make sense if you have a preferred vacation spot you frequently visit. The financial consideration of a vacation home purchase isn’t the same as booking a hotel room one trip at a time, though. This is a long-term expense you’ll need to figure out how to pay for.

If you’ve built up equity in your primary home, you could tap into it for a vacation home purchase. Doing so could minimize what you pay out of pocket to buy a vacation home, but consider whether using home equity to buy another property makes good financial sense.

How Using Equity to Buy a Vacation Home Works

There are two ways to think about using home equity to purchase a vacation home. The first is how you can access your equity; the second is what it can be used for.

There are three primary ways to pull equity from a home:

    • Home equity line of credit
    • Home equity loan
    • Cash-out refinancing

All three can free up cash that you can use as you see fit to purchase a vacation home, says Carrington Carter, co-founder and president of real estate investment company McKinley Carter Enterprises. But each one can impact your financial picture differently.

A home equity line of credit, for instance, is a flexible line of credit that you can draw against as needed. An advantage of using a HELOC to buy a vacation home is that you may only have to make interest-only payments or have a low monthly payment for the initial draw period. But, Carter points out, HELOCs typically have a variable, rather than fixed, interest rate. If interest rates rise, that could increase the amount of interest you’ll pay. And after the draw period, you should expect to make full principal and interest payments.

With a home equity loan, you’re getting a lump sum of money you can apply to your vacation home fund, and you’re more likely to get a fixed interest rate. Similar to a HELOC, you’d have your regular mortgage payment to make each month, along with a payment toward your home equity loan. That could require some budget adjustment to accommodate both payments.

A cash-out refinance works differently. With this type of arrangement, you get a brand-new mortgage to pay off the old one and withdraw your accumulated equity in cash. You only have a single payment to manage going forward. That’s a plus, but if you extended your new mortgage term beyond the number of years you had left on your original mortgage, that could mean more interest paid over time.

In terms of how equity can be used to buy a vacation home, homeowners have some leeway.

“The beauty of the equity in your home is that it’s your money and can be used for what you see fit,” says Jeremy Sopko, CEO and co-founder of Nations Lending direct mortgage corporation. “A vacation home will generally require 10% to 20% for the down payment, so depending on the amount of equity you have, you can buy a home outright or use the equity in your primary home as the down payment.”

If you have a significant amount of equity – meaning enough to buy a vacation home outright or make a sizable down payment with money left over – you might also use some of it to make renovations or remodel your new getaway spot once the purchase is complete.

Should You Use Home Equity to Purchase Another Property?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the terms of your current mortgage and which method you plan to use for tapping equity. Sopko uses a cash-out refinance as an example.

“If your current mortgage has favorable terms, you may not want to refinance this loan at all,” Sopko says. “However, if the current market rate is lower than what you have on your primary mortgage, it’s possible to refinance your first mortgage, get cash and not have any additional cost associated with tapping into that equity.”

How much equity you have also matters, since it can determine which type of equity financing option you’re eligible for, if any.

Ann Thompson, retail sales executive-West, consumer lending, Bank of America, says, “If you’re taking out a HELOC, for example, the amount of available equity you have in your home plays an important role. Your equity helps your lender determine your loan-to-value ratio, which is one of the factors your lender will consider when deciding whether or not to approve your application.”

To determine your LTV, divide your current mortgage balance by your home’s appraised value. If you owe $100,000 on your mortgage and your home is appraised at $300,000, your LTV would be 0.33, or 33%. Depending on whether you’re using a home equity loan, HELOC or cash-out refinance to access your equity, lenders may require an LTV of 85% or less. In other words, you need to have at least 15% equity in the home.

Thompson says owning a second home can bring potential tax benefits, depending on the type of property purchased and how it’s used. But, she notes, owning a second home just for vacations is different from owning an investment property. “That difference can affect a buyer’s finances, including the taxes owed on the property and the type of insurance coverage needed,” she says.

Alternatives to Using Home Equity to Buy a Vacation Home

There are some other options for purchasing a vacation home that can leave you with your equity intact.

For example, you could make the purchase or down payment in cash if you have the assets to do so. However, if you were to pull money from liquid savings, such as a savings account or money market account, you would want to be sure that you still have enough cash to cover emergency expenses or repair costs.

Or if you’re using tax-advantaged retirement plan assets to buy the home or make a down payment, there could be penalties. If you’re pulling money from a traditional individual retirement account or 401(k) before age 59½, you may have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty, along with ordinary income tax on the withdrawal. Not only that, but you’d be shrinking your retirement nest egg.

Originally published here

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JUST LISTED! 33601 Brigantine Drive, Dana Point 92692


Rarely on the market this Panoramic 180 degree Ocean and Catalina Island Single Level home in the exclusive Niguel Shores community.  This home has been professionally remodeled to capture ocean views from almost every room.  Enjoy watching the boats pass by while cooking in your upgraded kitchen with all new appliances.  Relax in the beautiful flowering atrium providing an abundance of light throughout. Niguel Shores is in a 24-hour guard gated community next to the Ritz Carlton hotel and Monarch Beach golf club.  Enjoy resort style living all year round with access to a private beach and private park overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

002_Entry Hallway 003_Living Dining 004_Living Room 005_Dining 006_Entry 007_Study 008_Study 009_Study 010_Atrium Courtyard 011_Atrium Courtyard 012_Atrium Courtyard 013_Family Room 014_Family Room 015_Family Room 016_Family Kitchen 017_Kitchen Breakfast 018_Kitchen Breakfast 019_Kitchen Appliances 020_Kitchen 021_Master Bedroom 022_Master Bedroom 023_Master Bedroom 024_Master Bathroom 025_Master Bathroom 026_2nd Bedroom 027_2nd Bathroom 028_Back of Home 029_Patio Retreat 030_Back Patio Awning 031_Patio View 032_Side Patio

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How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment?


Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state.

Using data from HUDCensus and Apartment List, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense.

By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own.

According to the data, residents in Kansas can save for a down payment the quickest, doing so in just over 1 year (1.12). Below is a map that was created using the data for each state:

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3%-down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 2 to 5 years, but becomes possible in less than a year in most states, as shown on the map below.

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you have just begun to save for a down payment or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! For more information give me a call today, I can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.

originally published here.

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Why Spring Is the Perfect Time to Sell Your Home


Spring is in the air and homebuyers are coming out of hibernation. With the holidays over and the weather warming up, it’s the time of year that’s typically considered a hot period for the housing market.

If you’ve considered selling your home, here’s why spring is a great time to move forward with those plans:

  • Warmer weather makes buyers active.
  • The market is in the right place.
  • There are plenty of buyers.
  • You can get a head start.

Warmer Weather Makes Buyers Active

Spring is the undisputed champion of seasons for selling a home. Not only are flowers in bloom and the sky blue for some great marketing photos, but also people are chomping at the bit to start the closing process so they can move in and get settled before fall.

Homebuyers have a tendency to taper off in the winter, and not just in parts of the country that typically have frigid weather. A mixture of holiday obligations and kids in school lead to more homes coming off the market temporarily and buyers pressing pause on checking out new listings.

By the time spring hits, cabin fever has people anxious to start touring homes. Dina Gorrell, a real estate agent for Redfin focused on the northern Virginia area, says the first two weeks of April have been the busiest so far in 2019. “When the blossoms come out, everyone goes nuts for it,” she says.

With work, school or family obligations at the end of summer, spring is the optimal time to take on house hunting and get moving on the purchase process. “We can see a clear indication that the market its turning back up,” says Dario Cardile, vice president of growth at real estate brokerage

The Market Is in the Right Place

A combination of low-interest rates and low single-family housing inventory means there are a lot of eager homebuyers forced to compete for what’s on the market.

After increasing interest rates to 2.5% in December 2018, the Federal Reserve has expressed plans to keep interest rates at the same level through 2021. While rising interest rates previously scared off unsure buyers, Cardile points out that the steady outlook for interest rates since December has encouraged more buyers to resume shopping for homes.

Mortgage News Daily reports the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is 4.34% as of April 16, 2019. The rate is a decrease of 0.16% compared to the year prior, and Mortgage News Daily shows the average mortgage rate has steadily declined since November 2018.

While housing has largely been in a seller’s market over the last few years – meaning the seller has an upper hand since there are more buyers than homes available – the natural real estate cycle of indicates that’s easing. Depending on where you live, there may be more new houses under construction to help ease demand or fewer active buyers.

Still, a softer market doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell your house or that it’s worth- less. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which measures price increases in single-family homes across the U.S., found home prices increased by 4.26% from January 2018 to January 2019 – and they have been steadily climbing since February 2012.

There Are Plenty of Buyers

Just a few years ago, millennials were brand-new to homebuying, but they’ve since become a staple demographic of the real estate market. With them, the real estate industry has evolved to better utilize technology and data to help home shoppers search for available homes. Now when a real estate agent lists a house on the local multiple listing service, it also gets picked up by consumer-facing portals like Zillow, and Redfin to reach homebuyers directly.

Of course, this doesn’t exclusively benefit millennial buyers. The National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports that first-time homebuyers made up 33% of the total share of homebuyers last year, with a median age of 32. The median age for all homebuyers, however, was 47, indicating that new home purchases certainly aren’t limited to first-time buyers or millennials.

Additionally, the move-in ready expectation that accompanied the rise of the millennial homebuyer is now widely embraced. To make your home as marketable as possible to all potential buyers, you should update key rooms like the kitchen and master bathroom, which are known to get a lot of attention from homebuyers. Consider replacing major appliances or systems that have reached the end of their life, such as the water heater or roof, since being able to say they’re brand-new can add value to the house. Selling your home “as-is” promises quite a bit more work than a first-time buyer is willing to take on.

You Can Get a Head Start

There’s still time to get your home on the market this spring to take advantage of the growing number of interested buyers, but successfully reaching potential buyers requires a bit more work than just an online listing, and it’s best to get started sooner rather than later. Gorrell recommends reaching out to an agent at least a few weeks before you’d like to put the house on the market to know what you need to do early on, so you can avoid a time crunch.

“It’s smart to have a Realtor come and look through the house room by room and make suggestions,” Gorrell says.

Selling your home also likely means you’ll be buying a new one, and the earlier you start on one the sooner you can make moves on the other. Cardile encourages home sellers to be active in the homebuying process at the same time. Especially if you need to be moved in before the end of summer, it’s best to tour houses and have a head start on house hunting, even if you don’t want to make an offer until your own home is under contract.

Here are four tips for taking advantage of the springtime homebuying surge:

  • Prep your home. It’s a year-round rule that you should be putting your home’s best face forward, from planting flowers along the walkway to updating appliances in the kitchen or bathroom. While an interested buyer may be competitive about bidding on a home, he or she will also be well-informed, and prepping your home is imperative to getting the highest possible return on your investment. Staging is also a key component, Cardile says: “If you stage correctly, you have the right light, the right environment … you showcase the house at its best.”
  • Price it right the first time. If your home is priced too high, it’s much harder to bring back the homebuyers who moved on to other listings because the asking price was out of their range. Redfin reports that as of mid-February, more than 1 in 5 homes for sale on the site have undergone a price drop, an increase of about 3.5% of homes seeing price drops around the same time 2018.
  • Aim for a Thursday. A separate Redfin study reveals homes listed on a Thursday are more likely to sell above list price and find a buyer faster than homes put on the market any other day of the week. “Thursdays are perfect because it gives people a chance to look at what’s coming and make their plans for the weekend,” Gorrell says.
  • Stay competitive. Even in a seller’s market, there’s no guarantee your home will be scooped up quickly – or even scooped up at all. It’s important to pay attention to homes going on the market in your area and to emphasize the particular strengths of your home. And while many markets are heating up or hot already, it’s important to keep in mind that a jump in home values in one area doesn’t promise high home values anywhere else.

Originally published here.

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Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong For Years To Come

MA Blog | Home Demand Strong

There has been a lot written about millennials and their preference to live in city centers above their favorite pizza place. Some have even gone so far as to say that millennials are a “Renter-Generation”.

And while this might be true for some millennials, more and more research has surfaced that shows for the vast majority, owning a home is a major part of their American Dream!

New research shows that 66% of millennials who currently rent are determined to buy a home! Seventy-three percent of those surveyed by Pulsenomics plan to buy a home in the next five years, with 40% planning to do so within the next two years!

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come | Keeping Current Matters

“Millennials want to own a home as much as prior generations,” Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at Meyers Research says. “We saw millennial shoppers scooping up homes in 2018—and 2019 will be no different.”

Bottom Line

Are you one of the millions of renters who are ready and willing to buy a home? Give me a call today and I can help determine your ability to buy now!

Originally published here.

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Slaying The Largest Homebuying Myths Today


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First Annual Nick Pasquale Foundation Charity Golf Tournament

NickPGolfTourn | SC Homes Blog

Nick Pasquale Foundation is excited to host the first annual Nick Pasquale Foundation Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at the Talega Golf Club.

You can register as a single golfer, a foursome, or choose one of the corporate sponsorship packages. Make sure you sign up quickly, space is limited! Register here.

Standard Registration:

Single Golfer – $150
Foursome – $600
Dinner Only – $50

Interested in Corporate Sponsorship Packages? Check out our Corporate Sponsorship Packages PDF to see what is included in each sponsorship level.

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Data Says April Is The Best Month To List Your Home For Sale

April Selling | SC Homes Blog

The spring housing market is off to the races! The inventory of homes for sale is increasing, buyers are out in force, and interest rates have remained low, piquing the interest of buyers and sellers previously on the fence about making a move.

New research from shows that the first week of April is actually the best time to list your house for sale! The report used “trends in median listing prices, views per property on, home price drops, median days on market, and number of listings on the market over the last three years,” to determine a ranking for every week of the year.

Listing your home in the first week of April contributes 14x more property views, 5% less competition from other home sellers, and results in the home being sold 6 days faster!

Below is a graph indicating the average score for each month of the year.

Data Says April is the Best Month to List Your Home for Sale | Keeping Current Matters

It should come as no surprise that April and May dominate as the top months to sell. The second quarter of the year (April, May, June) is referred to as the Spring Buyers Season, when competition is fierce to find a dream home, often leading to bidding wars.

However, there is one caveat worth mentioning. When broken down by metro, noticed that while warmer climates share an overall trend, they have different top sales months. The best month to get the most exposure in Miami, FL, for instance, is August, while in Phoenix, AZ, June leads the charge.

If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days! If you list now, you’ll have a really good chance to sell in April or May, setting yourself up for the most exposure!

Bottom Line

Give me a call today to find out the market conditions in your area to get the most exposure to the buyers ready and willing to make a move!

Originally published here.

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